Sets (VOW) Crimson Vow Testing/Includes Thread

Testing and includes!

Overall this felt like a “fine” set to me. A few cool things for both my cubes but nothing “earth shattering” EXCEPT COBBLED LANCER which my jaw is still on the floor about! Sets like this are nice because there’s not a lot of FOMO stress on the crazy expensive mythics but there’s solid role players that will likely be easy to pick up once i feel like doing so.

Paper Cube (the one with stupid good mana):
Cobbled Lancer
Dread Fugue
Abrade
Welcoming Vampire
Cemetery Illuminator
Concealing Curtains
Kessig Wolfrider
Voltaic Visionary
Reclusive Taxidermist
Ulvenwald Oddity
Wandering Mind

Cobbled Lancer and Dread Fugue are by far my favorite cards in set here. I still can’t believe they printed a 3/3 for 1 that draws a card later. What a stud, pun intended.
Voltaic Visionary and Reclusive Taxidermist are both awesome Tarmogoyfs that can draw cards and make mana, exactly the things i want to do while beating for 4 a turn. Easy testers that i bet will stick around a long time.

Finally, Wolfrider is another one i really like although YET ANOTHER TOKEN is kind of bleh. Might make a custom version of this that uses my existing tokens.

Arena Artisan Cube:

Fleeting Spirit
Twinblade Geist
Cobbled Lancer
Dread Fugue
Blood Fountain
Voltaic Visionary
Alluring Suitor
Abrade
Reclusive Taxidermist
Brine Comber
Wandering Mind
Markov Purifier
Vilespawn Spider


Really looking forward to more Sultai self mill goodness coming together via this set. Blood Fountain seems a nice way to trigger revolt.
 
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This is a testing/includes thread. Post pictures or a text list using /c with what cards you plan to include and what cards you plan to test.
Including:


Testing:


Including if I Open:


Emotional Support Module:


It's unfortunate that this set is following up two great Cube sets in the form of Modern Horizons 2 and Midnight Hunt, because this set is so close to being good. There are a lot of "interesting" cards here that just can't crack it into most Cubes, either because they are not powerful enough or because they are way too complex. The cleave mechanic, which should have been one of the standouts of the set with amazing cards like Dread Fugue, instead is largely disliked because of it's hard to parse phrasing. Having said that, the wedding theme is a standout with fun and flavorful cards all around. I'm not sure how this set is going to be remembered in the future, but it will be interesting to see how things shake out.


What are your plans for this set?
-GT
 

Very cheap and useful Lava Axe variant in a cube that has a heroic theme.


I consciously play 5 mv wrath effects, and this is a very spicy one. It sacrifices, so it gets around indestructible, which a few cards in my cube have/grant. It's also one of very few wraths that's both great when you're ahead, and great when you're behind.


Interesting design, but I don't really know what I should cut for it. Discard matters is solidly an {U/B} theme in my cube, so I'm torn if this would be giving of mixed signals, or making sure the theme also works in neighbouring colors.


This is an interesting card for my cube, obviously, since I already run Bygone Bishop. There's a number of token makers in white and its allies black and red, a small number of which can operate at instant speed. Meanwhile, the number of creatures with 3 or more power and less than 4 mv is relatively small in those colors. Less than 20. So, as others already noted, these seem pretty interchangeable. The real question is, do we want to double up on this effect?! I think we might!


This is a neat interaction of abilities, but it looks so wordy! This card would have read and looked ten times better had they picked a shorter name. That would have allowed the second ability to fit on two lines. Something like 'Grave Lighter' would have worked just fine.


This is aggressively costed and will play really well in a tempo deck. Great for ninjas!


I quite like this as a top-end in {G/U} ramp decks. Also, this card quite neatly shows the difference between 8 lines of text and 9.


The only interesting disturb card in this set for me, but it is so incredibly synergistic with ninja's, that I just might have to go for it.


I have no idea if I have room for this, but it creates two artifacts for one mana, it loots, and it is a double raise dead in the late game. Pretty cool design!


I have a sneaking suspicion this plays better than it looks. I don't think it's a fit for my cube, but who knows? Kind of sad that it only targets an opponent though...


More 3-power flyers for 3! This looks really good in an aggressive deck, because it allows you to cycle away useless lands in the mid to late game. Part of the 'can't block' gang though...


This is a lovely self-contained tribal card.


Blood for the Blood God! Or something... Decent draw spell, secretly {3}{B} to draw 3, discard 1, but in down payments. Cool beans!


Two artifact tokens with discard synergy, and looting, in black. Interesting!


Wordy... but cool! This is entirely on rate even if it never transforms!


Best red cube card in the set? (Kidding, I know it's a reprint ;) Cool art though!)


Woof! That's a good aggro two drop!


Now that's a red draw spell! Very cool!


Great, great one drop in green!


This is kind of cool in my {G/U} ramp decks. There's quite a bit of looting and self-mill in both colors, and this has a super useful effect from the yard.


Speaking of ramp cards, this is a funny one. Mostly my cube revolves around two and three color decks, but there is a single Golos, Tireless Pilgrim in there. I think it's a very fun card, and the Rules Committee doesn't allow me to play it as my commander anymore, so I don't think it's going anywhere. Hiveheart Shaman might be another cog in that rare five color archetype, with its decent stats and great activated ability. Note that the land you search for doesn't enter tapped, so if you have another untapped land, you can start making big insects on the turn after Hiveheart hits the battlefield!


I totally get why @TrainmasterGT is interested in this, I like it too! Cool, proactive ramp target.


Another self-contained tribal card. I only run 8 vampire cards currently, but there's a few more interesting ones in this set. Like I mentioned though, you don't even need those, as it makes its own vampire tokens to boost once it dies.


2/3's for 2 mana aren't really where I want to be, but for the gold slot I make some exceptions (two so far). This is quite a neat little card, that definitely fits my current themes in {G/U}. Probably more fun to play than Coiling Oracle!

23 cards worth mentioning (not counting Abrade). That's more than I would have thought, actually. Set's got nothing on Throne of Eldraine, but which set does, amirite? (Strixhaven, is the answer for my cube, currently. But that's partly because I love the learn/lesson mechanic and that takes up a lot of space!) Anyway, not all of these will make my cube, but in the end it certainly offers enough cards outside of the (for me) unsuccesful mechanics to test.
 


I'm not really too high on Initiate, but I really just want one more 1 drop human than can do extra stuff and this feels okay. I'm not the biggest fan of Usher of the Fallen since it's at odds with my Humans subtheme and doesn't interact with the likes of Champion of the Parish or Thalia's Lieutenant with its base body. I don't see it growing at all until T3 but that makes it an okay play if deployed on T1 or T2 with a 2 power attacker to bum training off of. There's a slight +1/+1 counters theme in my cube which gives it some additional play with splash hate. I don't really see it sticking long term but I'll give it a shot for now.

Grav Reaver on the other hand looks like it's here to stay long term. I've long wanted aggressive zombie two drops for B/x Aggro and the last set gave me Tainted Adversary which is sweet and can slot into more varied decks, but this is a much clearer signpost for pure aggro. Classic 1 damage drawback, easy to splash, and it has that exploit upside to snipe a problematic walker in the later game. Nice clean design, a far cry from many of the other cards in this set.

I think I would have been interested in Thirst for Discovery if I hadn't finally swapped out Compulsive Research for Thirst for Knowledge recently. It just fit more cleanly as additional support for my U/R Artifacts archetype so I'm just going to stick with it for the long haul due to slotting into a specific deck whereas Discovery is more generic with the basic land discard.
 
Definites:
Ascendant Packleader: I've been on the lookout for better options for aggressively slanted green 1-drops, and this fits very neatly into my cmc-cheaty cube aspects. Most of the time I expect it to just be a Savannah Lion that becomes a 3/2 in the midgame though, which is also reasonable.
Kessig Wolfrider: I'm not big on one-card-engines, but I think this demands enough resources to where it offers interesting gameplay patterns, and doesn't dominate the gamestate to the same extent that a card like Grim Lavamancer is able to.

Maybes:
Cemetary Illuminator: I have a soft spot for spirits with lanterns, and innistrad delivers in spades in that aspect. This is the only one out of them I could see myself actually cubing. I like how it makes you think about deck compositions and interacts with cantrips and instant-speed cards, but I also think it's too much of a simple card-advantage engine for my tastes.
Cemetary Prowler: I think I will keep Umori as the green Baral, just because this is a bit above my preferred power budget, but it's a consideration.
Hopeful Initiate: There are a lot of white 1-drops I like so it faces some stiff competition, and I'm not sure I like the rate on the disenchant effect, but it's a cool card I could see myself slotting in.
Cobbled Lancer: blacksmithy might not want to talk to me after this, but I don't actually think this will be very good in practice. Unless you cube street wraiths and other (inferior) creature cyclers, which sounds radical, I'm not confident that there actually exists shells where this is a meaningful contribution to the board at the time frame your deck can reasonable expect to cast it. That said, if it doesn't end up being a dud, I think it's a cool card that I probably want to play with.
Thirst for Discovery: The art is sick, might replace one of the other blue card-draw options.
Fleeting Spirit: Cool card. I don't think the abilities synergize with the themes of my cube well enough currently, but I'd like to get to a point where it would.
Valorous Stance: Also sick art, slightly less compelling effect. Might put it in over one of my other white protection spells for role-compression purposes, but mostly for the sick art.
Fear of Death: This probably plays a lot worse than it looks, but I like the idea of a cheap answer that also brings some self-mill.
Undead Butler: Considering this as a replacement for one of the Mire Tritons.
Fell Stinger: Cool card with modal options, but it's also a bit of a bread and butter card that doesn't really play into my core gameplay concepts.
 
I personally don't mind other users creating the Includes/Testing thread. However I would actually really enjoy it if we all could give Train the honor every time because he was the one with the idea originally <3

At first I was hyped for Innistrad. Daybound was a turn off for me and almost ruined the entire block for me. Only yesterday I wrote this:
https://riptidelab.com/forum/threads/vow-crimson-vow.3517/page-17#post-110710

However seeing the comments you guys have made in this thread and your reasonings for including cards have turned me around. I really like the aesthetics of the block and many of the cards are very clean and I must find room for them. I especially found Onde's comment useful!

{W} White {W}

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Faithbound Judge
Immediately firing off with a non-clean card BUT I really like when control decks have alternate win conditions. I'm gonna give this a try. For me high mana value cards are allowed to have a lot of text and be splashy. I don't think it needs to be cheated into the graveyard and cast early for it's disturb cost. I like the tension of the 'suspend' mechanic. I worry it will auto win against too many opponents but my format has the advantage that people can choose to put in answers after they've seen this card in action if they wish. They can also ban the card if they have no answers to it (At the cost of not banning another card). I hope it will be as strong as Approach of the Second Sun which is just enough to tempt the white players but not enough to always be included in a final 40. I swear, every time someone sees Approach in their pack, they always reveal it to everyone and announces "Should I go for it?" out loud. It's so funny. My worry about the card is that it is a transform card and that people will have to read the back side several times. Perhaps only once per tournament but I am sure people will re-read it the next tournament just to be sure how exactly it functions.



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Welcoming Vampire
Another white aggro card advantage. This should be very useful. Not much to say except I like that it has flying and that I also appreciate that it can turn a token generator into card advantage. At least that's a mini puzzle when constructing your deck.



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Wedding Announcement
When creatures arrive with gifts!
I don't think I will ever cut this. Any control deck can use this for defense if they didn't get 23 more playable cards. Any midrange deck can use this for both aggro and defense. For aggro it will probably be card advantage and the fail safe is more pressure. The card might be too goodstuff but I really like it and I don't mind transform cards like these because the back side directly feels like it connects to the front (A Glorious Anthem after a bunch of tokens are created) and because the back is clean and with few words. This means people never has to read the back twice.)



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By Invitation Only
I always need more sweepers. This is a ridiculous one. If you are behind, it will sweep the board like a Wrath of God. If you are ahead, you will be the only player with creatures on the board afterwards. And it will be your biggest creatures. Luckily it costs 5 which should put it into the very strong category but not broken. Is this the first time we see white handling out sacrifices?

I am a little surprised that I didn't find any common or uncommon white cards in this set.

Blue coming up another time.
 
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This set wasn't a hit for me, but I am still excited by what I am including.

Including



The dragon is (hopefully) going to be my "fair storm" win condition in Red since it provides explosive potential. I was previously running Firebrand Archer in desperation and it didn't cut it. This dragon has very serviceable stats and bridges 3 themes for me: spells, artifacts and sacrifice. This is going to fill a big hole that was present in my cube, so I am pumped.

Testing



The "draw" spell seems like it will play very well. Maybe not as an early play since if you hit something expensive you are stuck unable to take advantage of it. But later in the game, it will play like a Night's Whisper.



Card draw in White is always intriguing. The base stats are solid and being able to draw without spending extra mana is a big upside. I have to run the math and see if it hits enough targets to be worthwhile.

There are other cards that would appeal to me if they were slightly tweaked (Voldaren Bloodcaster being high on that list). Still happy picking up a missing piece for my cube!
 
I personally don't mind other users creating the Includes/Testing thread. However I would actually really enjoy it if we all could give Train the honor every time because he was the one with the idea originally <3
Yeah it was a little annoying that someone else posted a thread after I had already started putting mine together. I didn't see it until I had already clicked post because it wasn't there when I logged on. The full spoiler had only been up for like an hour at that point!

I do not mind people making these threads if I can't for a couple days, though. I'd just appreciate it if people could give me a chance to do it first.
 
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I wanted to write a reply to @Onderzeeboot's post but didn't want to make a massive wall of quotes, so I put it in a spoiler instead!

You have many interesting ideas, Mr Bootman!

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This is an interesting card for my cube, obviously, since I already run Bygone Bishop. There's a number of token makers in white and its allies black and red, a small number of which can operate at instant speed. Meanwhile, the number of creatures with 3 or more power and less than 4 mv is relatively small in those colors. Less than 20. So, as others already noted, these seem pretty interchangeable. The real question is, do we want to double up on this effect?! I think we might!
I'd say go for it. Welcoming Vampire has a good body and good abilities. The fact that this can die without value is likely less important in your Cube, because your players can afford to wait an extra turn or two to ensure this triggers.

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This is a lovely self-contained tribal card.
I like this design a lot.

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Two artifact tokens with discard synergy, and looting, in black. Interesting!
Imagine if this did two damage to any target :oops:

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Woof! That's a good aggro two drop!
Wow, I did not realize this hits lands. This is so strong!

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I totally get why @TrainmasterGT is interested in this, I like it too! Cool, proactive ramp target.
Yessss, come to the Canada side!
 


Blood fountain is probably my favorite card in the set, which goes to show how unexciting the set is as a whole. Blood tokens work well with madness/discard and artifact themes, so while I'm reluctant to add even more different tokens to my cube, blood tokens seem like they will provide good gameplay. Also, anything that is fetchable by trinket mage gets bonus points.



I do want another drake haven, even if it is inferior. The zombies still fly if I discard wonder, though!! Vampire's Kiss might not do enough, but it might just do enough to be a solid roleplayer for artifact and discard synergies.



These are a few other cards I will consider including. Whispering Wizard has a decent shot as it can trigger on casting artifacts, but 2 toughness on a 4 drop combined with the once a turn clause might sink his ship.

I know I'm not alone in saying this, but I'm really missing flashback and investigate. I'm already a bit cold on flip cards - and ICE cold on day/nightbound. I don't have any interest in vampires or really tribal as a whole. so without my favorite innistrad mechanics showing up in VOW, this set doesn't have much to offer me.

On a more positive note, thirst for discovery, nature's embrace, and the new abrade have amazing artwork by Dominik Mayer. I'm really looking forward to seeing more artwork from them in the future.
 
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Chris Taylor

Contributor
Wedding Announcement
When creatures arrive with gifts!
I don't think I will ever cut this. Any control deck can use this for defense if they didn't get 23 more playable cards. Any midrange deck can use this for both aggro and defense. For aggro it will probably be card advantage and the fail safe is more pressure. The card might be too goodstuff but I really like it and I don't mind transform cards like these because the back side directly feels like it connects to the front (A Glorious Anthem after a bunch of tokens are created) and because the back is clean and with few words. This means people never has to read the back twice.)
You may have sold me on this card!
 
{U} Blue {U}

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Cemetery Illuminator
What a cool card. I worry about the number of text lines. However there are only two details people will want to re-read after they've read it the first time. They're going to check what makes the Illuminator exile a card (Both etb and when it attacks) and if it can play lands or only cast spells. I really like Future Sight cards and rarely do we get a good one.


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Cobbled Lancer
For my starter set (Level 0) for the Ascension Cube. Blue had a graveyard theme and this fits right in with two relevant abilities. I think the art is weak and looks more like Onslaught than a setting on Innistrad.


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Dreamshackle Geist
What a beautiful 3-drop in blue. Simple and pretty good at closing games. It will probably make the controller feel really smart. I know the game would trick me into thinking that I'm pretty smart if I had this on the battlefield.


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Hullbreaker Horror
It takes a lot for me to add bombs to my cube but this one has some really cool abilities. First of all it has some protection built into it's body which I find important on high mana value cards. Both flash and the anti-counter is part of the group of abilities that help bombs succeed. High touch end helps as well. And they do need a lot of help because they are automatically difficult to cast because of their mana requirements. I like choice cards and this is the reason why Hullbreaker Horror makes the narrow cut. The second choice option, the bounce effect, also protects the Kraken Horror itself.


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Scattered Thoughts
Into the low-power graveyard centric blue section of Level 0 with you. At least for testing. It might not make it past 3 tournaments.


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Thirst for Discovery
Of course we have to try this one out. It's part of the family that once was Thirst for Knowledge and then later had Compulsive Research. But when Theros Beyond Death gave us Thirst for Meaning we were suddenly doubting that Compulsive Research was even in the same family. It was suddenly the odd one out with a different name and sorcery speed. Now with Thirst for Discovery I think it is safe to assume that Research isn't part of this group. This card will be tested but it might not make the cut. It's not particular interesting compared to Knowledge or Meaning that has some build to them because they care about a specific card type. I will have to put this at a low level. Perhaps level 1. If I put it too high, players will have too many nonbasic lands they wish to play which will obsolete this card.


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Mirrorhall Mimic
Another graveyard focused card. I can imagine this one running away with a few games a little too easily but let's see how the players react to it. Added for testing.
 
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{B} Black {B}

For the Level 0 set we want some Blood tokens for the graveyard theme and the madness theme.

Blood.png
Blood Fountain and Pointed Discussion
Two card advantage non-creature spells in black. Both should fit right into the lowest power level of the cube and have good synergy with the rest of the cards. Currently there's no artifact theme except for Delirium which Fountain is okay suited for. I do not think Vampire's Kiss is useful at all so we're gonna leave that one out and not even test it.


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For no good reason we also want the Innocent Traveler
Just because we like it.
It's low power enough for Level 0 and there is a lot of Humans. We still haven't found a way to make Humans matter without using rare cards.


And finally the gem that we desperately want:
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Dying to Serve
This one will probably (I could be wrong) prove to be a key centerpiece in the black-centered madness decks. The Level 0 set has tons of ways to activate Dying to Serve.


The rest of the cube wants:
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Dread Fugue I believe this one goes really good in both aggro, control and combo. An overall decent card. If your curve in hand looks to eat up your turn 3 and 4, you can cast this on turn 1 or 2. Otherwise you can keep it for maximum efficiency. As always, if you’re fearing a specific 3 cost card, always wait till turn 2 to see one extra card in opponent’s hand. It's one of only two CLEAVE cards that we're adding. I am not too happy about this. Optimal would be many more or all the way down to zero cleave cards. I just think this spell will play particularly well. The other is a sweeper which we still need more of.


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Falkenrath Forebear
More Blood tokens but on a higher level. Still on an aggressive body which is needed for the deck to survive the meta.


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Voldaren Bloodcaster
More Blood tokens but on a higher level. Still on an aggressive body which is needed for the deck to survive the meta :p In seriousness I like that the back side of the card is not a pure upgrade from the front. I especially like it because transforming from front to back, even though it looks mandatory, is really not because sacrificing a Blood token only costs 1 mana.



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Henrika Domnathi
And finally a choice card which is a type of card that I am so, so fond of.


That was 8 black cards, which is surprisingly many. But the cube is very large and divided into several sets so I am often a whale whenever Wizards release a new (standard legal) set. Even for Innistrad: Midnight Vow that I am not as thrilled about as many other sets, I still include quite many.
 
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I said in the other thread that I had fewer than 10 cards that I was looking at in my 720 card cube from the set, a record low. Now, it seems I've changed my tune and I have 7 actual inclusions, and another 8 cards I'm considering. THAT SAID, I think this is an uninspired set, even if it does end up brining more permanent inclusions to cube than Strixhaven. Its design and focus feels like

However, the biggest issue I have with it is that Daybound / Nightbound saw zero cards worth even glancing at. It was a big decision (mostly emotionally) to embrace the updated day/night cycle in Magic, removing an equal amount of Classic Werewolves TM from cube in the process, and I was hoping for some validation in that decision in this follow-up set. I didn't get it, but what I did get were some reasonable, if unexciting upgrades and side grades to my existing cards that, to enable the neat artwork, will in one case will force me to sacrifice the only time I might possibly get reminder text for the wholly unintuitive and needlessly over-complex (but neat mechanically!) new token type in the form of BLOOD.

Here's what I'm planning to include:

vow-115-graf-reaver.jpgvow-297-sorin-the-mirthless.jpgvow-338-voldaren-bloodcaster.jpgvow-338-bloodbat-summoner.jpgvow-334-falkenrath-forebear.jpgvow-183-voltaic-visionary.jpgvow-183-volt-charged-berserker.jpgvow-186-ascendant-packleader.jpgvow-191-cemetery-prowler.jpg

Graf Reaver in for Vampire Hexmage -- solves the same problem in a much more elegant and exciting way.
Sorin the Mirthless in for Vampiric Tutor -- Super solid midrange walker in black that also allows me to pursue my anti-tutor agenda further.
Voldaren Bloodcaster in for Wight -- I like Wight, but I like discarding cards more. a 2/1 flier isn't all that different from a 3/2 on the ground in terms of success in an aggressive deck, and while I like a lot of things about Wight, I knew it was only a matter of time when I first included him, simply because of the competition. I'm sorry I wasn't able to draft you the two times you were in the fray, zombie buddy!
Falkenrath Forebear in for Mardu Strike Leader -- the fan-favorite Strike Leader may always be dashing onto the scene but he's gotten progressively less good over the years, getting stopped in his tracks by 1-drops more and more with each new set. Not a single one of the three Forebear editions includes the reminder text for Blood tokens, so I might as well go with the neat Dracula art even if it introduces the awkwardness of two very similar versions of the same Transylvanian Count. I like how the Forebear feels self-contained enough to actually get the self-reanimation backup plan in aggressive strategies without outside help, and the abilities are good enough otherwise that I'm happy to hit in the air hard in the color. Most importantly, though, I'm happy to have more incidental rummaging.
Voltaic Visionary in for Embereth Sheildbreaker -- I may regret this in time, but just like Manic Vandal before it, no one is excited to draft this card, and they're excited to draft every other 2-drop in red. As a cube gets bigger, it actually wants more and more artifact and enchantment removal, but here, I'm just not sure how to make this kind of effect sexy, something I will have no problem with on the Visionary, as discussed in the set's main thread.
Ascendant Packleader in for Pelt Collector
Cemetary Prowler in for Rhonas the Indomitable

Other cards I'm eying but can't find a good cut for include:



If anyone has recommended cuts for these cards, I'm certainly willing to give them a second look. I'm going to be drafting this set quite a bit on MtG Arena, so hopefully that'll uncover a few hidden gems. After perhaps the two best sets in cube history, this feels pretty bad, but I'm happy with these new cards well enough.
 
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I kinda dislike the black activation cost on the flip side, as this will be sought after by mono white and green/white lifegain decks alike. I wish it was {1}{B/G} to activate. But I'll take self-fueling lifegain payoffs that good and will replace this when I get something similar without that grain of salt to it.



I will replace Kor Blademaster with this. The upside is more relevant and it carries weapons just as nicely.



My favorite card from this set. After this update I will have six Disturb cards, that is a good amount to make the cards easier to grok for drafters. And this feels like a plant for Neon Ninjas tbh.



That's something I've wanted since Ignite the Stage, highly appreciated card draw in red.



That's my favorite WB Lifegain payoff so far. Can fuel itself and draws you freaking cards!

That makes for 5 certain additions at ths point.

There are also two maybes:



If I'll add one, I'll add the other. But I'm not sure I want to add blood tokens to my environment yet. I don't think we will get more all that soon and what we have so far is mostly too clunky for my taste in discard outlets.
 
White got the hookup this set....

Near Certain:
Cemetery Protector: Home-run. Exactly the type of card I wanted in white. This easily replaces Emeria Angel, and even offers an a thematic alternative to Monastery Mentor which I cut months ago. I have a land theme as well as a creature-fall theme in white with the recruiters and hand-flicker effects. This ties multiple archetypes together and has great base stats.

Welcoming Vampire: I've been debating whether I want to run both this and Bygone Bishop. The bishop plays a strong role in artifact-based strategies which I find very valuable. I do like how the Vampire bridges creature-fall and token strategies....It's really nice with recursive creatures and sacrifice, and combos with Zombie Infestation and Ayula's Influence (two cards I'm always looking for reasons to keep around). Perhaps it could replace Militia Bugler?

By Invitation Only: Will replace Cleansing Nova. I'm a big fan of sweepers that provide some buildaround component. Aside from being an unconditional sweeper for control decks, I see this is having value in Stax decks that spam the board with tokens and recursive creatures. Sacrifice all your creatures but your Marionette Master or Midnight Reaper? Sacrifice World Shaper and leave behind your Tireless Tracker? I think there are a lot of fun outcomes in my environment. I loved Barter in Blood back in the day, and this is so much better!

Uncertain but Interested:
Cemetery Prowler: I really want to run this, but I fear the base stats overwhelm pretty much every other creature on curve outside of Reggie. I'll probably test it to confirm. It's certainly less oppressive than Scavenging Ooze.

Change of Fortune: There's a lot of potential for doing busted things in my cube with this. Chaining Wheels, discarding your hand to Zombie Infestation or Ayula's Influence, etc.....But 4 mana is a little on the expensive side. It makes it harder to chain spells together. I'm still very intrigued at its possibilities.

Fleeting Spirit: Not sure if there's room for both this and Seasoned Hallowblade, and I think Hallowblade gets the edge for now. I have a lot of discard themes in my cube so there may be room to expand that into white, but I may need to wait for more support to shift white in that direction. I like the pseudo-vigilance it provides: attack, exile after combat, it returns untapped EOT, and then you can threaten first strike for blocking on your opponent's turn. I need to think on it some. I like that it can survive Cataclysm, Death Cloud, Smokestack and By Invitation Only

Kessig Wolfrider: 3 mana and a 3 card exile is a lot for a 3/2 token. Exiling cards in graveyards is a pretty costly endeavor in my cube, and this almost requires it to be a relevant card.

Dread Fugue: My only hesitation is it being the only instance of cleave in my cube. I think I prefer Inquisition of Kozilek, and I don't want to run both.

Cemetery Illuminator: I so wish this could let you play lands off the top of your library. I have enough top of library manipulation to give this some extra play....blue 3's are tough to crack.

Cemetery Gatekeeper: I love a good punisher card, and this can pull extra duty in a resource denial strategy where you opponent can't afford to not play every land they get. It might be a tad too brutal.

Ascendant Packleader: Good card, but it doesn't make a ton of sense in my cube thematically. 4 is a lot more than 3. My green section's aggressive cards are typically either 1-3 mana or they are cheated out from the graveyard a la Roar of the Wurm and Honored Hydra tokens which have no cmc.

Doubtful but Curious:
Inspired Idea
Cobbled Lancer: I would've liked this more if you could cast it without exiling and then it sacrificed itself upon entry. I think this is going to be pretty awkward in play.
Savior of Ollenbock
Wedding Ring
Cemetery Desecrator: Less Obnoxious Gearhulk?
Hullbreaker Horror
Bramble Wurm
Vilespawn Spider
Thirst for Discovery
Glorious Sunrise
Cultivator Colossus
Edgar's Awakening
Consuming Tide
Demonic Bargain
Overcharged Amalgam
 
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White got the hookup this set....

Near Certain:
Cemetery Protector: Home-run. Exactly the type of card I wanted in white. This easily replaces Emeria Angel, and even offers an a thematic alternative to Monastery Mentor which I cut months ago. I have a land theme as well as a creature-fall theme in white with the recruiters and hand-flicker effects. This ties multiple archetypes together and has great base stats.

Welcoming Vampire: I've been debating whether I want to run both this and Bygone Bishop. The bishop plays a strong role in artifact-based strategies which I find very valuable. I do like how the Vampire bridges creature-fall and token strategies....It's really nice with recursive creatures and sacrifice, and combos with Zombie Infestation and Ayula's Influence (two cards I'm always looking for reasons to keep around). Perhaps it could replace Militia Bugler?

By Invitation Only: Will replace Cleansing Nova. I'm a big fan of sweepers that provide some buildaround component. Aside from being an unconditional sweeper for control decks, I see this is having value in Stax decks that spam the board with tokens and recursive creatures. Sacrifice all your creatures but your Marionette Master or Midnight Reaper? Sacrifice World Shaper and leave behind your Tireless Tracker? I see this having a lot of fun outcomes in my environment. I'm a big fan.

Uncertain but Interested:
Cemetery Prowler: I really want to run this, but I fear the base stats overwhelm pretty much every other creature on curve outside of Reggie. I'll probably test it to confirm. It's certainly less oppressive than Scavenging Ooze.

Change of Fortune: There's a lot of potential for doing busted things in my cube with this. Chaining Wheels, discarding your hand to Zombie Infestation or Ayula's Influence, etc.....But 4 mana is a little on the expensive side. It makes it harder to chain spells together. I'm giving it a hard look.

Fleeting Spirit: Not sure if there's room for both this and Seasoned Hallowblade, and I think Hallowblade gets the edge for now. I have a lot of discard themes in my cube so there may be room to expand that into white, but I may need to wait for more support to shift white in that direction. I like the pseudo-vigilance it provides: attack, exile after combat, it returns untapped EOT, and then you can threaten first strike for blocking on your opponent's turn. I need to think on it some. I like that it can survive Cataclysm, Death Cloud, Smokestack and By Invitation Only

Kessig Wolfrider: 3 mana and a 3 card exile is a lot for a 3/2 token. Exiling cards in graveyards is a pretty costly endeavor in my cube, and this almost requires it to be a relevant card.

Dread Fugue: My only hesitation is it being the only instance of cleave in my cube. I think I prefer Inquisition of Kozilek, and I don't want to run both.

Cemetery Illuminator: I so wish this could let you play lands off the top of your library. I have enough top of library manipulation to give this some extra play....blue 3's are tough to crack.

Cemetery Gatekeeper: I love a good punisher card, and this can pull extra duty in a resource denial strategy where you opponent can't afford to not play every land they get. It might be a tad too brutal.

Ascendant Packleader: Good card, but it doesn't make a ton of sense in my cube thematically. 4 is a lot more than 3. My green section's aggressive cards are typically either 1-3 mana or they are cheated out from the graveyard a la Roar of the Wurm and Honored Hydra tokens which have no cmc.

Doubtful but Curious:
Inspired Idea
Cobbled Lancer: I would've liked this more if you could cast it without exiling and then it sacrificed itself upon entry. I think this is going to be pretty awkward in play.
Savior of Ollenbock
Wedding Ring
Cemetery Desecrator: Less Obnoxious Gearhulk?
Hullbreaker Horror
Bramble Wurm
Vilespawn Spider
Thirst for Discovery
Glorious Sunrise
Cultivator Colossus
Edgar's Awakening
Consuming Tide
Demonic Bargain
Overcharged Amalgam
i think Militia Bugler is a really good cut
 
Don't forget the new Commander cards guys!

Jeskai Cube Includes:


Welcoming Vampire seems awesome and a probable swap with Militia Bugler. It might be a little on the strong side for my cube, might overlap too much with Bygone Bishop, and might create too many fliers at mana value 3. It seems fun enough to test though!

Ethereal Investigator came out of nowhere! I really enjoy investigate and was trying to expand on a carddraw theme anyway. My cube is suitable for 3-player free-for-all, so its multiplayer relevancy isn't trinket text for me. I think it'll replace Curator of Mysteries

Occult Epiphany seems like a lot of fun, and add some light delirium at a decent rate. Discarding artifacts lets it create two 1/1 fliers for just two mana! I like everything about it, and might be my favourite card of the set. I really like that these commander decks are relevant for cubes! It'll probably replace Drake Haven

I've mentioned already how Whispering Wizard will replace Talrand, Sky Summoner for me. Noncreate relevance and 1/1 Spirits replacing the 2/2 Drakes both supercede the fact that it might be weaker as a whole.



Haunted Library will join my long list of cards than can create spirit tokens in specific situations, for when I want those situations to matter (more) in my cube.

Hopeful Initiate will be added if I decide to push a +1/+1 counters theme. The same is true for Stormchaser Drake and heroic.

I like Spectral Arcanist and Scion of Opulence, but feel like their tribal elements pull too much focus and add too much fluff.

Frenzied Devils is probably too low-powered, but if it proves to be a powerhouse in VOW limited I might test it.

Disorder in the Court nicely combines some themes relevant in my cube, but I'm always hesitant to add multicolored cards and I don't think it's defining enough to warrant inclusion.

Dollhouse of Horrors is awesome, but a lot of text. It would fight with Mimic Vat for inclusion. The main drawback is that I'm unsure how to differentiate between its tokens and normal creatures. I'm afraid it'll create confusion.

Blood token creators just fall short for me. I don't like to add tokens to my cube for just 1 or 2 cards (I'm finally able to remove the drake tokens after this update!), and although I do like the tokens themselves, they tend to relate to vampires or be a tad too weak. Hopefully they'll be revisited in the future.
 
{R} Red {R}

Because of the size of my cube, I am more often looking to have a certain ratio of my cube being a certain type of card (Sweeper, aggro 1-drop, spot removal etc.) than it being a part of a thematic deck. For my starter set ('Level 0' I call it at the moment) I am looking for a typical Riptide cube with a set of 360 draftable 8-man cube but the rest of the cube is not as thematic. It is still structured and organized with an equal part of each mono color and the ratio between aggro cards and control cards feels fair. For that reason I often include duplicates. Because I can and it has no real downsides in a cube like mine. However I do not like the art for Abrade so I will not duplicate this one. I have rules for duplicate cards (no legendaries for instance) but Abrace could be a candidate although not a strong candidate because there's no real gain in squadroning it.

For Level 0:

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Blood Petal Celebrant, Bloody Betrayal Falkenrath Celebrants
Mmmmmm blood tokens. The starter set has both an Aristocrats theme and a Madness theme and both share the color red.


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Flame-Blessed Bolt
I have underestimated these types of cards for red aggro before. Not again. This is pretty cool. It is also one of those cards that could get cut in the long run because it's effect could be redundant. I want a proper ratio of non-player targeted removal spells in red so maybe one day this will get cut. I will include it at a time where the decks feel very close to limited retail. Later in the tournament when players are higher level, this card might get obsoleted by a Lightning Bolt that is more flexible.


For the rest of the cube (Level 1, 2, 3 or 4) in goes
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Kessig Wolfrider
I will put this at one of the lower levels in order to make sure that the red player still has a decent chance of being graveyard centric. Like
@inscho mentions higher up, Kessig Wolfrider requires a graveyard centric deck to be relevant. The menace keyword is pretty cool on a 1-power creature because it's not devastating if you can't block it. But attacking with it still feels good because it will often slip in a few damage here and there if it attacks with some higher statted creatures that opponent feel forced to block. It will also (often) chip a few life total at the start of the game as well.


1636483226671.png
Reckless Impulse
I have no idea if I think this card is good or not. It looked absolutely incredible to me when I first saw it spoiled but then @Nanonox taught me that it could hit expensive cards in the early game and I had not thought of that. I will test it for a few tournaments and cut it if you guys tell me to in a future "Single Card Spotlight" :p

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Stensia Uprising
Thirteen is a lot so it will often be trinket text. But I think it will still create a certain tension to the game like Bolas's Citadel can.


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Chandra, Dressed to Kill
No planeswalkers are allowed in the starter set, level 1 or level 2. At level 3 the worst planeswalkers will be introduced and finally at level 4 the best planeswalkers will be introduced. I expect to put this Chandra at level 3. It doesn't do anything amazing if you ask me but I like the art and it could pull a three-colored player into two-colored featuring heavy {R}. Normally I am extremely weary of including planeswalkers because I want them to be somewhat rare.
 
View attachment 5681
Chandra, Dressed to Kill
No planeswalkers are allowed in the starter set, level 1 or level 2. At level 3 the worst planeswalkers will be introduced and finally at level 4 the best planeswalkers will be introduced. I expect to put this Chandra at level 3. It doesn't do anything amazing if you ask me but I like the art and it could pull a three-colored player into two-colored featuring heavy {R}. Normally I am extremely weary of including planeswalkers because I want them to be somewhat rare.
I think Chandra, Dressed to Kill is sneakily good. Planeswalkers at mv 3 are always a bit more dangerous, because they can enter the battlefield before your opponent deployed enough threats to deal with the walker. When you pass the turn, Chandra will have 4 loyalty, which can be hard to kill on your opponent's turn 3 (if you started). It does depend a lot on how viable a monored deck is, because that second ability is where the power is, I think.
 
@Onderzeeboot
I agree planeswalkers with mana value 3 can be good. I don't think this one has enough impact on the board compared to the other planeswalkers that have been good at 3 mana. And I don't mind. It's okay that it's just going to be mediocre. I expect it to be above average in mono red but that's it.
 
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